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It may not be comfortable or easy to do but racist abuse needs to be challenged in sport and our society. Ben Macmahon/AAP

Eddie Betts and racism in sport: it’s not enough to just not join in

Sport can be a driver for change; it can make a difference in people’s lives and unify communities, particularly around national successes. But it can also create tensions and cause conflict.
Is the success of The Bachelor based on the spectacle of women psychologically tearing each other down for entertainment? AAP Image/Network Ten

How The Bachelor turns women into misogynists

The Bachelor, like most reality TV, thrives on drama. But its particular style of conflict illustrates an uncomfortable point: women can easily be sexist against other women.
Rather than assisting in prevention and allowing children to mature out of offending, juvenile detention does the opposite. AAP/Neda Vanovac

Rethinking youth justice: there are alternatives to juvenile detention

Important questions are being asked about why children were abused in juvenile detention in the Northern Territory. But we also need to ask why children are being detained at all.
Akbar Maulana, an Indonesian high school student in Turkey, talks with his teacher. Akbar is the main character in the newly released documentary Jihad Selfie. Aswan

Jihad Selfie: listening to ‘the other side’ in documentary film

Why do boys decide to join Islamic State? A new documentary focusses on an Indonesian teenager who considers becoming a foreign fighter but takes another path. The film is now being screened to young people across the nation.
The Australian netball team after their gold medal win at the Netball World Cup in 2015. AAP Image/Paul Miller

Is netball a feminist triumph? Let’s discuss

Netball – one of Australia's most popular sports – is on track to turn professional. Is this an exciting new chapter for female athletes? Or does netball's success draw attention from other sports, where women can smack balls, and roam freely?
Pauline Hanson’s policy agenda includes an inquiry into Islam and an end to Muslim immigration. AAP/Dan Peled

Defiant Hanson will test a Coalition government

Pauline Hanson and her party will potentially be a divisive presence in the next parliament. The challenge, for a potential Coalition government in particular, will be just how to handle her.
A hundred years later, the magnitude of the Battle of Somme can still be felt. Newzulu

Friday essay: the Battle of the Somme and the death of martial glory

A hundred years ago today, the Battle of the Somme began. This conflict, in which a million men died in order to move the front lines about six miles, spelled the end of courage as a cornerstone of masculine identity.
It can be tough deciding where to give birth. nata-lunata/Shutterstock

Explainer: what are women’s options for giving birth?

More than 300,000 women give birth in Australia each year. Most (97%) give birth in hospitals (72% of these in public and 28% in private), while 0.3% are born before they arrive at hospital.
What’s on offer on issues that disproportionately affect women? Some minor tweaks that are useful but not change-making. AAP/Lukas Coch

Despite the rhetoric, this election fails the feminist test

By continuing to see policies that affect women in economic rather than social terms, both major parties are offering little in the way of improved gender equity.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (2L) defended the government’s decision to withdraw teachers from Aurukun’s school following the latest incidence of youth violence. Matthew Nicholls/AAP

Governments must stop negatively framing policies aimed at Indigenous Australians

Media reporting and policies almost always tend to focus on what is wrong with Indigenous Australians. This is having unintended consequences.
Coal has provided us with some stunning fossils. Bart Bernardes/Flickr

Coal’s formation is a window on an ancient world

Despite its insidious influence on the climate and our health, coal has a lesser-known positive side to its otherwise dark soul. It has provided us with some stunning fossils.
We talk about food with moralising – and judgemental – language. Shutterstock

Tastes like moral superiority: what makes food ‘good’?

Locavore, freegan, kangatarian, flexitarian ... what we eat has become a moral minefield. Religions have long enforced food-related prohibitions, but in a secular context we could do with a little less moralising at the kitchen table.

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